The economy continues to be a major concern. The public events industry, however, is growing in spite of it, according to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), which last week released the results of its "Public Events Industry 2011" survey report.
In 2009, IAEE's Public Events Council distributed a survey to public event organizers across 22 public events industry sectors to examine overall industry performance. The survey was repeated in 2010 and 2011. This year's report comprises the entire three-year data set.
"With three years of survey data now available, the public events industry is showing some optimistic signs with growth in exhibit space sales and steady revenue and attendance figures," said IAEE President Steven Hacker. "The economy, however, continues to be a major factor impacting many sectors of the public events industry."
Key survey results, according to IAEE:
• Sixty-six percent of respondents have an optimistic/very optimistic attitude toward 2012.
• Thirty-two percent plan to launch new events in 2012.
• Thirty-six percent expect better sponsorship revenue in 2012; 57 percent expect nearly the same and 11 percent expect worse results.
• The economy was identified as the top issue facing the industry today. In 2009 the economy was also the top issue, but in 2010, more event-related issues were identified above the economy.
• Sixty-eight percent of public event organizer respondents take the younger attendee/professional into consideration when developing education programming at events.
The entire "Public Events Industry 2011" report — along with a supplemental report on young attendees, titled "Supplemental Report: How the Public Event/Consumer Show Engages with the Younger Generations/Professionals" — is available for purchase at IAEE's website.